22 Jun 2012

Fred Hollows Foundation opens Fiji eye clinic

3:09 pm on 22 June 2012

New Zealand's Acting Head of Mission in Fiji says New Zealand is keen to continue the partnership with the Fred Hollows Foundation to treat avoidable blindness in the Pacific.

Phillip Taula says today's opening of a new diabetes eye clinic at the Pacific Eye Institute in Suva is a very postitive development.

He says New Zealand has given four million US dollars and Australia eight million US dollars to the Fred Hollows Foundation since 2008 and the cost of the new clinic is just under half a million US dollars.

He says non-communicable diseases are a large and growing problem across the Pacific and the clinic is aimed at treating people with eye problems resulting from diabetes.

He says the New Zealand government is very supportive of the project.

"This is another very positive development and the Pacific Eye Institute which is where the diabetes clinic is based has been in operation for just over a year and has performed a large number of operations already. So it's already had a big impact on eye care in Fiji. And is also providing training for eye health specialists in Fiji and from the region."

New Zealand's Acting Head of Mission in Fiji, Phillip Taula.